The Atlantic

What Trump Didn't Say About Education

Experts aren’t surprised by the president’s failure to mention it in his State of the Union.
Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Sometimes what’s not said in a State of the Union address is just as relevant as what’s said. That’s what some in the education world are thinking, at least, about Trump’s lack of mention of their topic in last night’s address. Despite being the third-longest State of the Union in the past 50 years, Trump’s speech barely mentioned schools, students, or learning.  

Trump’s only clear mention of the subject was a brief comment about vocational education: “Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.” As my colleague Alia Wong reported last night, this call for more vocational schools isn’t entirely consistent with his requested cuts to career and technical education in the 2018 budget.

Representative Joe Kennedy’s Democratic to the address didn’t touch all that much on education, either, although it offered more than Trump’s address did. Kennedy spoke from Diman Regional Technical School, a vocational school in Fall River, Massachusetts, and noted that Democrats choose “good education [Americans] can afford.”

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